tv John King USA CNN June 30, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
prank caller. remember the good old days when jon stewart was celebrated for using the d-word to attack the then-host of a cnn host called "cross fires." turns out mark halpern apologized a couple of years ago for saying that john edwards thinks obama is kind of a p-word that means timid. now that he's used the d-word, as well. the website gawker reports that halpern called obama both types of general tailia. as you look for the d-spot, disconnect. jeannie moos, cnn, new york. >> that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good evening, i'm jessica yellin sitting in for john king.
we begin tonight with breaking news. there could be a major change in the president's cabinet before the president's re-election campaign. a source familiar with discussions tells me treasury secretary timothy geithner has indicated to administration officials that he's thinking about leaving his post after a deal is struck, if it is, to raise the debt ceiling. the treasury secretary, i'm told, has not made a final decision. tonight when he was interviewed, he hedged a bit when asked about the possibility of leaving. >> i never had a real job. i only worked in public service. you know, i live for this work. it's the only thing i've ever done. i believe in it. i'm going to be doing it for the foreseeable future. people are interested because i have a family and my son is going back to new york to finish high school. i'm going to be commuting for a
while. >> our other top story is the deteriorating political and economic situation in yemen. suspected al qaeda militants are taking advantage of the turmoil by spreading deadly violence there. that's a major concern to the united states. we'll have more on that in a few moments. first, yemen's acting president sat down for an exclusive interview with cnn's senior international correspondent nic robertson in the capital. the vice president has been in charge since yemen's president was seriously wounded earlier this month when insurgents attacked the presidential palace. >> translator: i saw him immediately after the incident. he had burns on his face, burns on his hands, burns on his chest and there was a piece of wood sticking in his ribs. thanks to god his health
improves every day. >> he was taken to saudi arabia for treatment and there was speculation he was back or soon to return to yemen. we now know that is not the case. ni nic robertson with the exclusive interview with the nation's acting president. >> reporter: there were a couple of things the vice president said in that interview that caught people. one is he said president saleh may not come back from medical treatment in saudi arabia for several months. that's got a lot of officials here talking. the other talk he raised was when president saleh talks about a new political deal, the deal he's talking about means he wouldn't step down till another president has been elected. thanks to the opposition here, that is a red rag to the bull. both points indicate there will
be some deal before a political deal is done. the vice president continues to indicate he will. the problem people see here in sanaa, the longer you have this lack of deal going on, the more likely there is to see an increase in violence. on the streets here you have growing lines of cars cueing up to buy gasoline. people sometimes ten days in line. the economy here is tanking. anger is growing on the streets today. we've seen people forming impromptu small barricades across the road because they are so angry with the government not fixing the economic problems. there are concerns it may not be the politics and could be the economics here that precipitate a wider conflict. the other problem emerging in this political status, al qaeda is taking advantage. in the southern towns over the
last days, al qaeda, suspected al qaeda militants attack a stadium where troops were based more than 30 of those yemeni soldiers were killed. according to government officials, 14 of the suspected al qaeda militants where k s wh qaeda is gaining strength there. al qaeda is taking advantage. there are growing tensions on the streets here. the economy is getting worse and wore. as long as president saleh is out of the country and there is no political deal with the opposition here, the problems that face yemen only seem to be getting worse. the president alluded to that in the interview saying tensions were getting worse. five provinces have fallen out of government control. the situation really here dire. people here talk about the potential for widespread conflict even within a matter of
days. >> nic robertson from yemen, thank you. the pentagon is closely monitoring that situation. there is also growing concern about pakistan. and whether al qaeda or the taliban could get hold of its nuclear weapons. chris lawrence is at the pentagon tonight. what's behind the growing concern and really, how real is the fear that terrorists will get their hands on those nuclear weapons? >> good news is all the analysts i talk to say right now it's unlikely that terrorists could get and seize a nuclear weapon in pakistan. bad news is all the trends are going the wrong way. pakistan by ten years from now will have as many nuclear war heads as the british have today. the country is becoming increasingly radicalized. since 2007, there have been about four attacks on likely nuclear weapon sites. just in may, the taliban,
pakistani taliban stormed pakistani naval base. they killed ten troops there. they used rocket launchers. it's believed they have help from the inside. that is a big key because the taliban commander says they plan to hit nine more key sites. one of the analysts i spoke to said there is no way terrorists could get their hands on any sort of nuclear material without help from the inside. >> thanks, chris lawrence, at the pentagon. let's get analysis on the situation in both pakistan and yemen with fran townsend, cnn national security contributor and former homeland security advisor to president bush. she is a member of the cia and dhs external advisory boards. hi, fran. let's start with yemen. we heard nic robertson describe a frightening picture there. what are your sources saying about what's going on in that country? >> you know, yemen has been a top priority. huge concern across two
administrations now. when i was in the white house, i had responsibility on the counterterrorism issue. john brennan, president obama's homeland security and counterterrorism advisor is struggling with this issue now and referred, the vice president of yemen referred to john in his interview with nic robertson. the united states put tremendous amount of capability and resources there to try to help stabilize the situation. there is no question we have every form of human intelligence, technical intelligence. we are trying to target and help the remaining yemeni government target al qaeda. what we hear from nic's report and others, we are losing that. yemen is losing its ability to control key provinces, key regions of their own country. in yemen, al qaeda and the arabian peninsula, the main al qaeda affiliate there is the strongest of the affiliates. they have the most capable bomb maker.
we have the american-born al qaeda cleric there. this is probably the single most important serious threat for the ability to launch an attack into the united states there in yemen. that threat is getting worse, not better. >> you painted a frightening picture in yemen. turning to pakistan now, we've seen the taliban infiltrate nearly every federal agency in that country. jew precarious is the security situation there? >> it's incredibly precarious. this comes at a time where one u.s. official said to me, it's, we're at the lowest point in our bilateral relationship with pakistan he has seen in his many decades working this issue. i think that's right. leon panetta is now secretary of defense. certainly, he wasn't enjoying a great relationship with them in the wake of the bin laden raid when he was director of the cia. that is going to be a difficult relationship to repair.
this isn't just one incident. far those who think the relationship crumbled over the bin laden raid, it's been crumbling over time during the bush administration there were serious issues. pakistan has not been particularly a reliable partner. nor have they provided some help in afghanistan, but not consistently. it's a troubled relationship. >> pakistan defense minister is saying the u.s. will have to stop using its main base to launch drone missile strikes against terrorist suspects. what impact will this have on u.s. operations there? >> oftentimes what we found in the past, pakistani officials will say one thing in public and frankly, they don't always do that. we have to see whether or not they are serious about making us shut down the air base where they use flight predators. we are never tied to one site from which we can launch operations. that won't be the only place that the u.s. is able to base
and launch drones from. we are likely to continue to operate. >> fran, thanks for your insight as always. later this hour, bill clinton checks out the 2012 republican presidential candidates and reveals who he thinks has the advantage. >> also ahead, a surprise for defense secretary robert gates on his last day at the pentagon. is loaded with protein! y really? 25 grams of protein. what do we have? all four of us, together? 24. he's low fat, too, and has 5 grams of sugars. i'll believe it when i--- [ both ] oooooh... what's shakin'? [ female announcer ] as you get older, protein is an important part of staying active and strong. new ensure high protein... fifty percent of your daily value of protein. low fat and five grams of sugars. see? he's a good egg. [ major nutrition ] new ensure high protein. ensure! nutrition in charge!
today on defense secretary robert gates' last day as secretary of defense, president obama addressed the farewell ceremony at the pentagon. in a surprise move, presented gates with the presidential medal of freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. >> i'm deeply honored and moved by your presentation of this award. it is a big surprise. but we should have known a couple of months ago you get good at this covert op stuff. >> gates will be succeeded tomorrow by leon panetta, former director of the cia. we are joined now by william cohen who, like bob gates, served as defense secretary from
a president under a different party. he is a republican who served under president bill clinton. secretary cohen, on that point, let me ask you -- thanks for being with us. on that point, listen to what president obama said today about robert gates. >> the integrity of bob gates is also a reminder, especially to folks here in washington. that civility and respectful discourse and citizenship over partisanship are not quaint relics of a bygone era. they are the timeless virtues that we need now more than ever. >> you've been in a similar position. how difficult is it to put aside your personal political differences when you're in the kind of position secretary gates was in? >> when it comes to the national security of the country, it's easy to put aside any partisan considerations. i think that's what the president was talking about today. that does mark the career of bob gates. i worked with him when i was a
co-chair of the senate intelligence committee. i worked with him over the years. i must say that he's the quintessential public servant. i think the medal he received was justly deserved. great job over his entire career. >> the president and secretary gates, as much as they clearly admired one another, did have their differences. most recently over libya. on what issue do you think they had the most daylight between them? >> i think that perhaps was the biggest gap, at least according to the public discussion of it, on libya, very clear. he made a statement that it was not in our national, strict national security interest. i think he came around to the view once the french and british got out front and once the arab league endorsed a no-fly zone, than he came in and supported the effort because he said publically when you have countries like the great britain and france who have been with us through very tough times, and they're out front, you need them
as your friends and you want to support your friends. that's the reason he ended up lending his strong support, supporting the president of the united states. >> always supporting the president. he was clear about that in the end. >> you support the president of the united states or you then tender your resignation on issues. >> in his farewell remarks, secretary gates made a number of references to the men and women fighting on the front lines. listen to this. >> i'm just saying here that i will think of these young warriors, the ones who fought, the ones who keep on fighting, the ones who never made it back till the end of my days. >> he talked a lot in his last few weeks that he became almost too concerned about the men and women who were fighting on the front lines. it was almost too paramount in his mind. is that possible for a defense secretary to be worried? >> i think you have the attitude of bob gates just right. you feel a passionate commitment to their welfare, well-being, safety and security.
you do whatever you can to make sure you have whatever they need to fight adequately, survive and be safe. that's the kind of passion you need. >> let's talk more broadly about foreign policy. the recent attacks in afghanistan underscored how fragile that country's security is as the president is talking about drawing down u.s. forces in the country. should the u.s. be talking about withdrawing troops when the security situation there is so fragile? >> my view is initially we should have followed vice president biden's recommendation about having more of a counterterrorism strategy than counterinsurgency. i don't think you can successfully have counterinsurgency unless you're prepared to stay there 10, 15, 20 years. the american people aren't prepared for that. the sooner one can get to a counterterrorism strategy, the better off. >> in libya, the president argued the military action in libya does not meet the bar for
the war powers act. he does not need to go to congress to get their approval to continue u.s. military involvement there. do you agree with him? >> i think the president, you can argue this either way in terms of its constitutionality. most presidents disagree with the constitution of the war powers act. i think the better course of action would be get congress onboard with you in the beginning. debate, leave the constitutionality elsewhere. the president feels strongly. most presidents do. it's always better to have members of congress supporting you than opposing you. this will stay as an issue of contention from now until it's resolved. it's best to avoid that if you can. >> members of your own party criticized looking at presidential politics, i should say, criticized john huntsman who went and served a democratic president overseas. he says he did it because when the president calls you into service, that's what you do, no
matter which party it is. >> i agree. john huntsman has been a great public servant not only as governor of utah. if the president of the united states asks you to serve in a capacity trying to promote the foreign policies of this country, you have an obligation to serve. >> what would you say to republicans who argue his service to a democrat president disqualifies him for the republican nomination for president? >> i always thought that the issue of foreign policy stopped at the what you're edge. judge him on his merits. he is an extraordinarily capable individual. judge him how he performed as governor, how he served presidents from certainly george bush, george herbert walker bush and perhaps president reagan. the fact he served a democratic president ought not to be a disqualifying factor. i hope the republicans will put that aside and judge him on the merits. >> thank you for your time, one of the true bipartisan members
of the staff. secretary william cohen, thank you for being with us. the latest news headlines, including what stephen colbert wants to do with your money. losing your chex mix too easily? time to deploy the chex mix boring potato chip decoy bag. now no one will want to steal the deliciousness. with a variety of tastes and textures, only chex mix is a bag of interesting.
a team spokesman says the problem was caused by a two-day freeze imposed on finances after the dodgers filed this week for bankruptcy protection. the spokesman says the problem has been resolved and all bounced checks have been reissues. in an odd turn of events, the federal election commission is permitting comedian stephen colbert to start a super pac to allow him to raise money for political ads. a frightening moment for french president nicolas sarkozy and someone grabbed his shoulder and pulled him toward a police barricade in southern france. a 32-year-old man was arrested. members of congress had a fiery reaction to the president's harsh words at yesterday's press conference. how will it affect the standoff over the nation's debt? sweetie i think you need a little extra fiber in your diet.
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the standoff continues tonight between president obama and congressional republicans over whether to raise the nation's debt ceiling. at his press conference yesterday, the president chided congress to do its job and reach an agreement before the august 2nd deadline, insisting that any deal must include new taxes. today, republicans in the senate took to the floor to express how they felt about the tone of the president's message. >> absolutely disgraceful. he should be ashamed.
i respect the office of president of the united states, but i think the president has diminished that office and himself by giving the kind of campaign speeches he gave yesterday. >> republican leader michigan mcconnell invited mr. obama to capitol hill so he could hear directly from republicans on why they won't vote for his proposal. with tensions running high, the senate has canceled its scheduled recess next week to continue working on a compromise. at the white house earlier today, i spoke with jean sperling, director of the national economic council for more context on the administration's position. republican leaders in congress say they simply don't have the votes to pass a deal to raise the debt ceiling. they are not being stubborn, they don't have the votes. mitch mcconnell invited the president to meet with republicans. the press secretary said not even worth the conversation. why doesn't the president go there and take the meeting, take
every meeting he can with republicans? >> first of all, all this president has been asking for is an honorable compromise. the same balance we've seen in bipartisan deficit reduction agreements since the early '80s, which includes putting everything on the table. what the president is saying very clearly is that you can have deficit reduction where you're putting all the burden on seniors and the middle class, and then saying that those who get the most egregious special interest tax cuts are those most fortunate in our society have to bear no burden in recovering from this financial crisis, strengthening our economy and getting the investment and job growth back we need. all of us need to be in this together. the president is simply asking we have that type of balance and compromise i think the country wants to see. >> part of this has to be politic. it feels like there is political posturing going on right now. if this is as dire as the white house says it is, and as it
would seem the capital markets are suggesting it is, why not just give the republicans what they want? why not just cave and say, you want only cuts, fine. to save america and save the economy, we'll give you cuts, raise the debt ceiling and fight another day on the other issues that matter to democrats? >> let's be clear. this president is willing to do historic levels of spending cuts and efficiencies to help bring our deficit down. as somebody involved with the negotiations with the vice president and eric cantor and others, anybody will tell you, we are making significant progress on spending cuts across the board. the president is willing to do quite a lot on reducing spending, but in order to show a seriousness, in order to show we are all in this together, in order to get the votes you need from both democrats and republicans to pass and the house and senate, you have to have a sense of balance and shared sacrifice. >> why did the talks break down?
eric cantor walked away, why, in your view? >> i think they were very serious and enormous amount of progress. at some point leaders have to work with the president on the overall contours of what that bipartisan deficit reduction agreement will be. yes, you probably will see politics as always in things. there is no doubt where the president's focus is. he wants to get this done. he wants serious talks, serious negotiations. whether that is one-on-one meetings, phone calls, where there is a serious discussion to be had on finding a bipartisan agreement, that is our 100% focus. >> the president took a different tone yesterday, much more combative. how does tweaking the republican leadership help the negotiation process? >> what the president was trying
to do was bring people back to the table. we were having a serious discussion. >> by saying they are not on the level? >> by having great trust. what the president said as people left they were trying to cast aspersions on his involvement as opposed to just working out our differences. this president, as you know, put forward a call for a bipartisan negotiation only five days after this year's budget was finished. a week later he called together the eight top leaders and set up a bipartisan negotiation with the vice president in charge. he has monitored that and given those of us in the negotiating table instruction on a day by day level. he met one-on-one with the leadership. he brought all the caucuses down to the white house to hear them out, get their views. this president is going the extra mile and will continue to go the extra mile. i think what he was saying yesterday at the press conference was, come on, guys,
it's time to come back to the table. i can throw a brush package, too. that's not going to help. what helps all of us is todom back to the table, get a balanced deficit reduction plan that will help us get this economy going, get confidence in investment and long-term job creation. and give a lot of members of congress the comfort they need to ensure our country does not default for the first time in our history and forever tarnish our credit rating. >> let's look at the broader economy for a minute. there is talk not much can be done to spur job growth. we heard the president say congress does have tools at its disposal. would you point to one thing congress could do when it comes back from vacation? >> yes. i'll give you two examples. we have $2 trillion sitting on the sideline in our economy right now. if we could give those companies, those investors the confidence that american work
past its divisions and get its house in order, i have no question that will increase more confidence in people making long-term investments, which means more construction, more job creation here in the united states. secondly, you can do a deficit reduction package the smart way. that includes a payroll tax cut which puts $1,000 in the pockets of average families, which can help them face the strains of higher food and energy prices, but means more spending and can give an extra kicker of growth to help this economy grow together. a strong deficit reduction and bay partisan plan is the right type of recipe to restore confidence in more investment and job creation and put more spending and demand in the economy and help out many hard-pressed families. >> these are measures largely democrats support and republicans don't.
>> i don't think so. the reason we were able to have our bipartisan agreement in december was the president looked for proposals where we thought there would be bipartisan agreements. the payroll tax cut had been supported by democrats and republicans. giving people 100% expensing, both things this president and his economic team felt were good economic policy that could help with job growth and were measures we saw republicans had support supported. that's the type of bipartisan compromise we need. >> do you think the reason the republican house isn't behind these measures because they don't want to give the president that kind of victory in election year? is it politics? >> i'm not going to prejudge where they are. this is negotiation. people take different postures in their negotiations. i think what is important is people understand there is a time and place for everything.
this is the time to come together to get serious to cut a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement that involves compromise and balance. that takes on special interest and asks for some contribution sacrifice as well as having very significant spending cuts in virtually every area of the government. >> do you think you'll come to a deal on the debt limit? >> i do. i do believe in the end everybody wants to do the responsible thing. that is my hope and my belief. our country has had impeccable debt since alexander hamilton, our first secretary of treasury assumed all the debt and had the vision to do that 220 years ago. i have to believe all the leaders don't want to be part of driving the united states into default the first time in our history. and would like to show american people and markets we can get something done on the deficits even with our divisions.
another airline security failure. how could a man board a cross country flight without proper boarding pass or valid i.d.? republicans hit back on the president's recent criticism of congress. hey! you want that? you want a warm, super-delicious strawberry toaster strudel yeah but now i have nothing to eat sure you do. hey! you can have the pop tart! pillsbury toaster strudel. the one kids want to eat
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fund-raising events. he told supporters he is ready for his opponents. >> we are going to attack. here in philadelphia they are going to attack. they won't have a plan. but they'll attack. i understand that. that's politics as we've come to know it. what i also understand is the american people are a lot less interested in us attacking each other. they are more interested in us attacking the country's problems. >> republican candidate mitt romney was ready with lines of his own. he was a bit north of philly in allentown slamming president obama's economic policies outside a metal factory that closed down. the president visited that very same plant when it was still open back in 2009, and at that time he had been touting his economic stimulus plan. >> the plant has been open 100 years. it survived the great depression.
it couldn't survive obama economy. the president says just give me more time and it could have been worse. it couldn't have been worse for the people who worked here at this plant. for them, it's as bad as it gets. >> there is a lot of campaign news to talk about today, including who former president bill clinton believes is a strong candidate in the gop race. he's got a few actually. to discuss it we are joined by rich gailen and bill burton, former deputy press secretary to president obama and now active in the campaign in his own way. bill, you've got to admit it was shrewd of mitt romney to go to a plant where president obama visited himself and said it shut down because of the president's economy. how does president obama respond to attacks like this? >> it was a good gimmick and got him on cnn and local press, too.
you've got mitt romney out there, dark and gloomy about the economy, talking down in a depressing negative way how things are going out there when people are looking for hope versus president obama who did go to that plant. >> how did that work out? >> as opposed to mitt romney who was there celebrating the fact they no longer had that. i think what the president will do is talk about the things he's done, ways he's been trying to turn the economy around around talk about the future. ultimately this campaign will be about the future and how the choice stacks up between the president and the republican nominee. >> i think we got a preview of the campaign. rich, listen to a moment -- >> can we talk about this? >> yes. we want to play a clip of president obama when he was at that plant in 2009. >> you were there, too. >> i just came from allentown
metal works where i had a chance to visit workers there. they were working hard not just to forge the machinery that makes this country run, but like so many others across america, these workers have been doing the best they can to stay afloat in a brutal recession that has hit folks like them hardest of all. >> you notice he has almost no gray hair then? what a change. that's not the point. is this a preview of the campaign we'll see? >> the interesting thing for me watching that go on was that the romney people decided this is over. they are running against obama. as far as there is concern, there is no primary campaign. they are going dead on after the president. we may see that for the next 17 months. i think it was more than a ga gimmick. i don't think anybody coordinated their schedules. to the point about one side looking down one side looking up, if you ran that footage of the president when he was
talking about the fact they are going to say bad things about me, he didn't exactly look like he was ready to sing "putting on the ritz" either. these are tough times. both cases -- let's assume romney is the nominee. i think what we are likely to see and this is good for the process, we'll see two serious people running for president starting some time this time next year, i think, when the field is set. >> then the economy is the major issue. let me play, bill, a series of sound bytes. yesterday the president ratcheted up pressure on congress saying you should be in town working this out instead of going back home, taking recess and vacation. then he left town to go visit pennsylvania. >> for fund-raisers, hello. >> take a listen to what the
republicans had to say. >> the president ought to be in washington meeting with republicans, meeting with democrats. he shouldn't leave that town until he has an understanding of what it's going to take to get this economy going again. >> i'm here today, mr. president, where are you? my understanding is the president's campaigning, has a fund-raiser in philadelphia tonight. i don't believe he is here tackling the nation's problems today. >> i wonder if he will cancel his fund-raiser to meet with senator mcconnell and speaker boehner to try to work on this threat he was so emphatic about yesterday. >> do they have a point? >> i love senator cornyn who criticized the president for going to a fund-raiser left that speech and went to a fund-raiser. >> he didn't have to get on air force one and have 700 advance people do it for him. >> i can assure you those 700 advance people are not working on limiting the debt crisis.
as for mitt romney to make that criticism -- look, what he suggests this balanced budget amendment, were we to have a debt ceiling increase is crazy fiscal policy. even the radical ryan budget wouldn't fit under that. i don't think republicans are talking about a lot of solutions. they have a lot of attacks for the president, but don't have a workable plan. >> what is the president's workable plan? >> sitting down with leaders -- >> obviously, he's not. he refused to come to the hill to talk to republican senators. the only reason he did sit down the other day because, frankly, i think he goaded into it by governor chris christie. >> a couple of thoughts. >> a republican governor with -- >> the real difference is with the house. he has to wait till the house is back and work this out.
>> keeping everybody in. >> just to wrap this up, i can assure you chris christie had nothing to do with why the president did anything. >> how can you be sure? >> i don't think it passes the laugh test to suggest the president hasn't been serious about doing this. serious about doing this. as it turns out the vice president is a pretty important member of the administration who's been sitting down and talking. one second, rich. the president has been talking to congressional leaders on both sides to try to make progress instead of grandstand like we've seen on the other side. >> today is an important day because fund-raising totals come in. this is something we in washington all watch. all of these candidates have been raising a lot of money and today they have to tell everybody how much they raised. jon huntsman brought in $4.1 million we're told by our producer. less than half of it from himself. does any of this matter? we're going to all report about it. does the fund-raising total
really matter? >> well, a lot of people say mitt romney is a much better candidate this time around. if you look at the way he managed expectations on his money, saying that he was going to have $40 million coming from the campaign but actually only coming out with somewhere between 16 and 20, i think that shows a lack of discipline. it's not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things but does show a lack of discipline. >> you seem to be protesting a bit too much about romney. i don't understand. but we can talk about -- >> we are talking about money. but the truth is huntsman is going to need a lot more money -- >> no, no. we only have two ways of figuring out what's going on, money and polls. so, yeah, the money is important. >> gentlemen, thank you so much. bill burton, rich galand, good to see you. up next, an airline security breakdown. how could someone board an airplane without the proper boarding pass or valid i.d.? we'll find out what can be done to protect your security next. e- a network of possibilities. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience
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this next story has a lot of people scratching their heads, especially with all the criticism leveled at the airport tsa agents for the intrusive way they search passengers. the fbi now says a man somehow flew cross country with a fraudulent boarding pass and without a valid i.d. homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve picks up the story. >> reporter: the saga starts at jfk airport where on june 24th a
man bound a virgin america flight bound for los angeles. after takeoff other passengers complained about his odor. when the flight crew investigated, it found he had a boarding pass for a different day with someone else's name on it. his only i.d., from the university of michigan, though he hasn't been a student there since '06. how did he get through a tsa checkpoint which requires a valid government-issued i.d. and a boarding pass? there was clearly a malfunction. >> law enforcement officials say there is nothing to indicate this is a terrorist incident. the man is arrested and is charged as a stowaway. we're joined by the former head of security for israel's el al airlines. we know when someone is in the wrong seat at a football game so how could something like this slip through the cracks on an airline. >> it's very simple. when you don't have security, so please don't be surprised this is the results we have. we go back to the shoe bomber,
richard reid. we know the story of this guy. we know the story of the nigerian, who hid the explosive in his underwear. the shoe bomber gave us the biggest threat, red flag, to tell us arrest me, stop me. but because we rely only on technology, and technology will never be able to replace the qualified and well-trained human being, so we should not be surprised that we once after once. it's impossible that the tsa will continue rely only on technology, because we have experience, better experience technology on september 11th, 2001. 19 terrorists went three airports walking through the security checkpoint. they put their carry-on on the
x-ray machine. >> and they managed to get through. >> and look what they did to us. >> now, this man claimed that he was able to get through passenger screening by obtaining a seat pass and then displaying his university of michigan identification and a police report that his passport had been stolen. putting all that together, does that make sense? >> no. i read the story. you are talking about criminal guy that's ta stole a boarding from a man that was on the same subway in manhattan, new york. and then he used it in a way that only blind people cannot stop him the second he comes to the security checkpoint. how you don't see that at the date, how you don't match the names, how you don't see the flight number, how you allow men like this to go through the security checkpoint and to let them board the flight.
where are the employees of the airlines that allow this man to go and to cheat all of us? are we blind? we don't care about security? >> there's nothing that indicates this was a terrorist incident, but do the circumstances strike you as suspicious, and do you question this person's motives or you just think it's a crazy guy? >> first of all, we question every passenger. this is the system that proved that we could save over 600 passengers' lives. one flight on zurich switzerland and the other on heathrow london when the luggage of the passenger went through the x-ray machine, nothing was identified. thanks to the system of interviewing passenger, asking the right question, the guys came to the conclusion that something wrong with this two passenger. the passenger in zurich when they openee